808s / The World's Greatest Hits

The World’s Greatest Hits: ‘N Sync – NSYNC

‘N Sync – NSYNC – 1997

Claimed Sales: 15.5m

First listen?: Yes

Format Listened?: Apple Music

In the battle of the 90s American boybands I would have always gone straight to NSYNC as my favourite. Not only because Justin Timberlake quickly showed himself to be one of the best pop performers of the generation, but for the string of hits that still go off well over a decade on. If all I had to go off was this, their self titled debut album, the story would be very different. ‘N Sync starts fine enough, with the Max Martin written hit Tearin’ Up My Heart, which is a perfectly acceptable 90s boyband tune, albeit a bit lightweight in comparison to the stuff Backstreet Boys were releasing at the time. Things quickly go off the rails after that though. There’s a cringeworthy overly earnest rendition of the 80s Christopher Cross hit Sailing while the New Kids On The Block b side soundalike You Got It falls flat. Things come to head with the excruciating funk of Giddy Up which see leads JC Chasez and Timberlake all but battling with awkward vocal riffs over the hip hop beat. It’s interesting that the moments that ‘N Sync works best as an album are on the ballads, where the likes of God Must Have Spent a Bit More TIme On You and Thinking About You (I Drive Myself Crazy) still manage to be quite boring, but at least show a band that has something most of the other boy-bands of the era didn’t. JC and Justin are great pop singers and despite the latter of these songs having some of the worst lyrics on the album, it finally sets them apart as a band. This is surely the biggest problem that ‘N Sync has, this is a debut from a band who no one has a clue what their sound is. Even the best song here, another Max Martin written pop banger I Want You Back, was literally written for Backstreet Boys and passed over. Perhaps the 2 year delay after being originally released in Germany before an international release didn’t help matters. ‘N Sync is a terrible debut album, but thankfully NSYNC eventually found their own voice, thanks to the creative drive from its two genuinely talented lead vocalists.

Rating: 4/10

Will I listen again?: No

Best Track: I Want You Back is by far the best song here, but both Max Martin tracks are way ahead of the rest anyway.

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